Trust Online - we all want it, but how can we get it?

Guest blogger Peter Rouse, Director of shares his thoughts on the growing need for trust in business and why he launched with miiCard built in.

Peter Rouse - Director

Peter Rouse,

Trust is, I believe, all about expectations: the behaviours and truthfulness I expect in a given situation from another person. I make assumptions about what I expect based on any number of factors, express and implied, depending on the circumstances. I commonly expect people to be who they say they are; to do what they say they will do; to tell me the truth when giving me information. However, I am often disappointed and call to mind the saying: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

When we are dealing with others, including other individuals and businesses, we can manage the risk involved to some degree in a number of ways, for example: if it is a straight purchase, do we know precisely how we can get our money back or the item replaced if it does not meet expectations; if we are getting advice, does the provider have the requisite qualifications and is there recourse if you act on the advice and suffer loss because the advice was wrong?

When we meet people and organisations we size them up, look at the way they present themselves to us. We learn by experience and from others what to look for to reassure us that we are safe to deal with them; there are plenty of ‘cues’ we can look for and of course we can take references, if we are not too lazy to do so. We would rather make assumptions as they make our lives easier and allow us to move on to the next thing.

Online has made everything faster and the pace of our acceleration seems to quicken by the day. Towards what who knows, but we love speed don’t we! We can do so much for ourselves now: access information; view options; and make purchases involving 10s, 100s, and even 1000s of pounds in a matter of minutes. What we want to be able to do is to make assumptions and feel safe. We can look at the site design, in the way we might look at a building; we can look for other’s opinions as we might take customer references; we can check out a company behind a web site to see if it is solvent.

We know that there are fraudsters who are expert at pretending to be what they are not. They know what cues to give us so that we are lulled into believing they are who and what they say they are - they are the same as those used by the vast majority who are genuine. Whereas companies have to publish information about themselves, individuals do not. About 3.5m people in the UK operate their own businesses and have no employees; some will trade through companies but that is not a requirement as a sole trader can operate as an unincorporated business.

There are so many business situations in which we need to be assured that a person we are dealing with is who they say they are. Fraud is, thankfully, the exception and not the rule. However, it is far too easy when dealing ‘at speed’ online to be fooled and what is needed is a ready means of verifying that someone is who they say they are; that they exist ‘on the grid’.

From the earliest stage of development of we recognised that our users would benefit from a means of knowing that someone they were dealing with on our site is who they say they are; in other words that their identity has been verified. There is only so much we could do alone and so we turned to the people at miiCard who are all about verifying identity online. While you may never have felt the need to question another’s identity, or been asked to verify yours, miiCard offers you the opportunity to place the issue beyond reasonable doubt by subscribing to their service and jumping through a few necessary hoops to get yourself verified. By using miiCard you can give others the reassurance they need; after that all you have to do is behave decently towards others, as you would have them behave towards you.

About Business Dating powered by miiCard Trusted provides a relationship-driven solution to addressing the common priorities faced by micro-businesses and those who work in them. Finding work, finding people to work with, finding funding, finding solutions - helps match people with the right combination of experience, skills and resources for business, connecting them with people they might otherwise never meet.

Business.Dating launched last month with miiCard Trusted Identities built in - read more here.

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miiCard, Identity Protection, Online Trust